Most Popular Athlete Who WASN'T a Jerk

As suggested by Thudlow Boink:



I’ll add Brooks Robinson.

I’ve heard nothing but good things about Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.

For hockey guys, I can’t recall anyone saying anything negative about Joe Sakic or Jarome Iginla

Mel Ott, even if he did finish last.*

*Actually, the quote was, “Ott is a nice guy, but he won’t win a pennant for you.”

Ernie Els came across as a fantastic bloke when I met him in a pub. Steve Cram was also a pleasure to spend time with.

And I will repeat what i said in the other thread - my bartender and waiter friends who knew him in Philly had nothing but praise for Iverson as a person.

I’ve got to go with the first of the two. Arnie is The Man.

I met a woman in a bar who was from Pittsburgh. She told me that Troy Polamalu is both a gentleman and a gentle man. Soft spoken and courteous to the fans he meets in the grocery store.

You never hear a bad word said about Walter Payton. By all accounts he wasnot only a great athlete but a great person as well.

That’s what I came in here to say. I had a roommate who’s family was from St. Louis, and they knew him personally. From all accounts, I believe he was Jesus, but just didn’t make a big deal about it.

I’ll second the Mighty Murph. Really think he deserves a spot in the baseball HoF.

Also, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and Tim Teebow come to mind.

Cal Ripken, Jr.

André Thornton.

I should mention one other player: Jim Thome. My father-in-law worked with his brother and has met Jim on a number of occasions. A friendly, funny guy who puts on no airs at all, says the FIL.

Joe Thomas.

OK, OK, I’m biased - sue me. :smiley:


Roger Federer is a pretty nice guy, really.

I would have picked him as athlete of the decade instead of Woods, actually.

I probably would have, too. Both totally dominated their sports, but all of Federer’s accomplishments came within the decade, while 2 of Tiger’s majors were from the 90s.

I met Jim Thome once too, and that’s exactly how I’d describe him. Also, that man is HUGE. His legs look like tree trunks.

Kevin Garnett.

And (I know I’ll get crucified for this) Randy Moss. Yes, he’s sometimes a headcase both on and off the field. But before Culpepper and McCombs ran him out of Minneapolis on a rail, he did some very stand-up things in the way of charity works for the less fortunate here in the Twin Cities. His charity works are rarely reported on, largely because I’ve heard he prefers it that way. Yes, he’s pulled some stupid stunts, but he’s not the thug the media would like you to believe.

As a non-tennis fan, that surprises me. The very few times I’ve seen him in press conferences, he seems pretty smug. Glad to hear that’s an exception.

Ernie Banks.

My buddy and I said hello to him in a restaurant. He greeted us like we were old friends and actually invited us to sit with him. We had an engaging and animated conversation until we felt like we were overstaying our welcome and, despite Ernie’s protests, decided to leave him be.

I later read that he does this sort of thing routinely when he’s in public and genuinely enjoys it. What a great guy.